Chris Hinshaw: The Running Man

CrossFit’s Aerobic Capacity Course expert explains how interval training can help you do more work faster.

Long-time CrossFit athlete Tawny Sanabria used to dread box jumps and wall balls.

“I could never get into a good rhythm, and they would make me so tired. They were so exhausting,” she said.

All that changed for Sanabria when she made one major alteration to her training: doing interval running at the track.

Specifically, Sanabria has been diligently following endurance coach Chris Hinshaw’s Aerobic Capacity program since March 2016. As expected, her running has improved in recent months, but to her surprise, so has her muscular endurance and stamina in the gym, she said.

“We recently did a workout with wall balls, rowing and a lot of hang cleans. And I just don’t need to take as many breaks anymore. I just don’t get as taxed,” she said. Even upper-body gymnastics movements are easier now, she added.

How do running intervals improve someone’s pull-ups?

Hinshaw—the coach of CrossFit Inc.’s new Aerobic Capacity Course, —explained: “Let’s say you’re doing ring dips. Eventually, you’ll become lactic in your muscles. The muscles start to fatigue one at a time. All that is actually happening is your body is trying to protect you.”

He added: “Eventually, the lactic acid will go down into your legs, and if your legs are developed aerobically, your ability to pull that lactate out of your system and process it as fuel has improved.”

Hinshaw revealed his elite athletes—including Rich Froning, Mat Fraser, Katrin Tanja Davidstottir and Camille Leblanc-Bazinet—have all had experiences similar to Sanabria’s.

“Camille (Leblanc-Bazinet) will tell you when she does muscle-ups and pull-ups, her work capacity goes up when her running improves,” Hinshaw said. “When your legs are developed aerobically, your ability to recover during other kinds of movements is also substantially improved.”

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